Bagenalstown Cricket Club, in its various guises, is the oldest provincial cricket club in Ireland, and the second oldest in the country. The club was founded in 1843 by the workers and management of Brown and Crossthwaite Milling Enterprises, a fact acknowledged by the miller's wheel that still stands proudly outside the club pavilion, and last year the club celebrated its 170th year. The club has had several homes over the intervening years, including a long spell spent plying their trade in the grounds of Dunleckney Manor, a stately home just outside Bagenalstown.
The club moved to their present home in McGrath Park in 1950 – buying and moving the pavilion from Dunleckney to McGrath Park cost the princely sum of £60! The new pavilion was built in 1996, and opened by Des Foot, a long-standing stalwart of the game, not just in Bagenalstown, but throughout the county and province. Indeed, as Des will tell you, his research has shown that in 1930 there were as many as 30 clubs within a 10 mile radius of Bagenalstown – it is testament to the hard work and dedication of club members over the years that B.C.C. is the 'Last Man Standing' in the area.
Cricket in Ireland has gained considerable popularity in recent years on the back of the national team’s success at recent World Cups and we as a club are actively growing – with plans to redevelop the playing facilities to cater for our growing number of members.
1st XI: Division 8 Champions 2015! The 1st XI of 2015 is almost entirely different to that of a just a few years ago. Having been crowned champions the team will now compete in Division 7 for the 2016 season and have every opportunity to continue recent success. There are a number of promising young players to watch out for who are beginning to turn potential into match winning performances which bodes well for the future of the club! This is a team where players have a chance to make a name for themselves in a high standard of cricket and 2016 represents a great opportunity for the team to test themselves in a higher division.
2nd XI: Division 14 Runners-up 2015! Under the calm, highly experienced and steady influence of Ray Stapleton, the 2nd XI has given opportunity for younger players to gain valuable experience of competitive league cricket and have reaped the rewards. The 2nd XI also includes a blend of experienced players to compliment the youth and as a result will be playing in Division 13 for the 2016 season after ending the current campaign as the division runners-up.
3rd XI: The 2015 season saw the club enter a 3rd XI in to the leagues for the first time in the clubs history. This team is a developmental team and is vital for the continued growth of the club. The squad for 2015 blended youth and experience and gave a vital taste of competitive league cricket to the next generation of the club as well as league cricket for other club members. We hope that this team can go from strength to strength in the coming years and aid the continued growth of the club as a whole.
Plans are also in place for an additional development team for 2016 and a Women’s team. For more information on Women’s cricket and training sessions please Contact Us.
Youth Team: Our youth team has continuously expanded over the past few years. We introduced a 3rd team in the Open Competition in the Leinster league in 2015. One of the reasons for this was to accommodate youth players into adult cricket, and for these players to seamlessly progress their game. Due to this expansion, we are looking to enhance training for the 2016 season. We will include specific sessions for 7-9 years old, so they learn the basics of the game, and also have lots of fun! Along with this, we will have training for players who are 10- 13 years of age, so they have the skills ready for adult cricket, and have the chance to be on underage representative sides. We have Cricket Ireland qualified coaches who are Garda vetted, meaning you can be assured your children are safe and receive excellent coaching. Youth membership is €30 for the season, which insures your child against injury. The youth team play games throughout the season, both home and away, and the club provides all the equipment that they need.
Schools Programme: The school's program started in 2012, in an initiative from the club to promote youth cricket within the Bagenalstown community. The first school we introduced cricket to was in Newtown, where coaches had two sessions with 5th and 6th class students in the school. As a result of the excellent feedback we had, other schools wanted us to do similar sessions in 2013. We went to Ballinkillen, Nurney and Garryhill National Schools in May and in September 2013. Again, we received fantastic feedback from teachers, pupils and parents. Since 2014, we have introduced our schools cricket competition, for 2nd class students, where we have a 'Cricket Blitz Day' in McGrath Park at the end of the school year. This has been a fantastic success to bring new players to the club, and the schools look forward to coming back to the club for this competition each season. In 2015, we went into 7 schools around the area to do our sessions, including St Mary's National School. We can’t wait to go back into our local schools again for the 2016 season!